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Nemanja Vidić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Видић, ; born 21 October 1981 in Titovo Užicemarker, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslaviamarker) is a Serbianmarker footballer who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and for the Serbian national team.

After establishing himself at Red Star Belgrade during the early 2000s, Vidic moved to Spartak Moscow in the summer of 2004. He further increased his reputation when he was part of the "Famous Four" Serbian national team defence that conceded just one goal during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. He would later sign for Manchester United for around £7m in January 2006 before establishing a prominent defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand the following season.

Now widely regarded as one of the finest centre-backs in Europe, he has collected a host of honours in his short United career including 3 consecutive Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Club Cup, two League Cup medals, as well as being included in three consecutive PFA Team of the Year sides from 2007 - 2009. In the most recent season, he helped United to a record-breaking run of 14 consecutive clean sheets and was awarded the Barclays Player of the Season award.

Club career

Early years

Nemanja Vidić was born to Dragoljub, a now-retired copper factory worker, and Zora, a bank clerk. Vidić took up football at seven years of age, alongside his older brother Dušan, with local side Jedinstvo Užice. He progressed quickly, and moved to Sloboda Užice at the age of 12.

Red Star and Spartak Moscow

Two and a half years later, before his 15th birthday, Red Star Belgrade signed Vidić to their youth system. He started his senior career on a season-long loan deal at Spartak Subotica in 2000. He moved back to Red Star Belgrade after the loan deal ended, playing regularly in the top-flight Yugoslav League. He won the 2001–02 Yugoslav Cup with Red Star. Vidić quickly gained the captain's armband, and during his three years as captain, he scored 12 goals in 67 matches, and ended his Red Star Belgrade career on a high note by leading the club to a domestic double. He won the 2004 Serbia and Montenegro League and Serbia and Montenegro Cup trophies with Red Star Belgrade, and in July 2004, he joined Russian Premier League side Spartak Moscow. The details of the transfer were not revealed although it was reported that Vidić became the most expensive defender in the history of the Russian Premier League.

Manchester United

After playing two seasons at Spartak Moscow, Vidić signed for Manchester United for a reported fee of around £7 million on 5 January 2006; two and a half years after Manchester United's reported interest in him. He was assigned the number 15 shirt and made his debut for Manchester United as a substitute for Ruud van Nistelrooy in the dying minutes of Manchester United's 2–1 win in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn Roversmarker on 25 January 2006.

During the 2006–07 Premier league season, Vidić formed a partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence, which has since become one of the most prominent partnerships in English football, and has become an established first team player. In his first full season playing for Manchester United, he made 25 appearances in the Premier League and ended the season winning his first league medal.

Vidić scored his first ever goal for Manchester United on 14 October 2006 against Wigan Athletic; United won 3–1. He scored his second goal in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 4 November, his first goal at Manchester United's Old Traffordmarker stadium. He scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United against Benfica on 6 December in the group stages, a match which Manchester United won 3–1.

On 8 November 2007, Vidić signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at Manchester United until 2012. At the end of the 2007–08 season, he earned his second consecutive Premier League medal. He was also a part of the squad which won the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final versus Chelsea—his first European medal. During United's 2007–08 season, he made 32 league appearances and scored one goal.

During the 2008-09 season, Vidić has been a pivotal part of the United defence in the absence of a number of other defenders during various parts of the season. He started every match in the British Football League-record run of 14 consecutive clean sheets in Premier League matches. Towards the end of the 2008–09 season, Vidić was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, along with another four Manchester United players; he was considered the favourite to receive the accolade that was later awarded to his fellow team-mate Ryan Giggs. Vidić was later named as the Manchester United fans' player of the year and players' player of the year, taking over from Cristiano Ronaldo, who won both awards in 2007–08.

Praised for his aggressive no-nonsense defensive style, Vidić is now recognised as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and in Europe. Nicknamed Vida by his Manchester United teammates, he is highly regarded for his physical presence, heading ability in both defence and at attacking set pieces, as well as his bravery. Because of this, he enjoys a cult status among United faithful and is often compared to former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce for having similar characteristics.

On 25 October 2009, Vidic was sent off against Liverpool in a 2–0 defeat; this marked the third consecutive game against Liverpool in which he had been shown a red card.

International career

A Yugoslavian youth international, he made his senior debut on 12 October 2002 against Italy in UEFA Euro 2004 qualification. Vidić was part of the Serbian and Montenegrin national team's "Famous Four" defence, alongside Mladen Krstajić, Ivica Dragutinović and Goran Gavrančić, that conceded just one goal during the ten 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, setting a new record for the fewest goals conceded. Vidić played a major part in the last qualification game, against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbia and Montenegro won 1–0 and secured qualification, despite Vidić picking up a red card five minutes before the end. Vidić missed out on Serbia and Montenegro's opening group stage match against the Netherlands through suspension from his red card in last qualifying game, and on 12 June 2006 he injured his left knee ligaments during training and he did not play any games at the 2006 World Cup. After the 2006 World Cup, Vidić went on to represent the national team, now independent as the Serbian national team.

Individual honours

Vidić won Serbia's Overseas Player of the Year award for 2005, playing for Spartak Moscow, a poll of the captains of the 16 clubs in the Serbian Superliga that is organized annually (the first award was given in 1996) by daily newspaper Večernje Novosti. He was once again the recipient of the award for 2007 and 2008, this time playing for Manchester United. The executive committee of the Serbian Football Association named him Player of the year for 2005 and 2008. He was named in the 2006-07, 2007–08 and 2008–09 PFA Premiership Team of the Season. In addition, he was shortlisted for the 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008-09 UEFA European Club Defender of the Year and was also shortlisted for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 FIFPro World XI player award and also for the 2008 and 2009 Ballon d'Or award. Vidić was named Premier League Player of the Month for January 2009. He was also named Barclays Player of the Season for 2008-09.

Personal life

On 17 July 2006, Vidić married Ana Ivanović, an economics student at the University of Belgrade (no relation to the Serbian tennis star of the same name). Together, they have a son named Luka.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Red Star Belgrade 2000–01 0 0 0 0
Spartak Subotica (loan) 2000–01 27 6 27 6
Red Star Belgrade 2001–02 22 2 22 2
2002–03 25 5 25 5
2003–04 20 5 20 5
Total 67 12 67 12
Spartak Moscow 2004 12 2 12 2
2005 27 2 27 2
Total 39 4 39 4
Manchester United 2005–06 11 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
2006–07 25 3 5 0 0 0 8 1 0 0 38 4
2007–08 32 1 3 0 0 0 9 0 1 0 45 1
2008–09 34 4 4 0 4 0 9 1 4 2 55 7
2009–10 9 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 13 0
Total 111 8 14 0 6 0 30 2 5 2 166 12
Career total 244 30 14 0 6 0 30 2 5 2 299 34


Statistics accurate as of match played 28 November 2009

Honours

Club

Red Star Belgrade


Manchester United


Individual



References

  1. {{cite web| url=http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={FE60904B-C2A8-4E60-9B05-700DBBC29BBC}&section=playerProfile&teamid=458&bioid=91959| title=Nemanja Vidić bio| publisher=Manchester United| accessdate=2008-12-29}}
  2. {{cite news |title=Vidic wins awards double |url=http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={F9E570E6-407E-44BC-800F-4A3110258114}&newsid=6632736 |work=ManUtd.com |publisher=Manchester United |date=17 May 2009 |accessdate=17 May 2009 }}
  3. Fergie hails stalwart Vidic by Sky Sports
  4. Vida delight at killer blow by Manutd.com
  5. Vida wants Pompey fillip by Manutd.com
  6. Half-time report - Top of the class by ESPN
  7. Eurosport.com's 2006 top 10 prospects by Eurosport
  8. Champions League - Champions League team of the year by Eurosport
  9. Review: Nemanja Vidic by manutd.com
  10. Report: Everton 0 United 1 by Manutd.com
  11. Vidic on cult status by Manutd.com
  12. Vidic Loving Life At United by Eurosport
  13. Warrior Vidic set goals target by Manutd.com
  14. Iron men by timesonline.co.uk, hosted on absolutelyunited.com
  15. Žigić the captain's choice by uefa.com
  16. Izabrani najbolji, V. Tomković, Večernje novosti
  17. Vidić i Moreira najbolji, V. Tomković, Večernje novosti
  18. Golden ball for Nemanja by nemanjavidic.com
  19. Одржана седница Извршног одбора ФС Србије by Serbian football association
  20. Fudbaler Nemanja Vidić by sport.novosti.rs
  21. Ronaldo secures PFA awards double by BBC
  22. Ronaldo named player of the year by BBC
  23. Giggs earns prestigious PFA award by BBC
  24. Re-live: Champions League Group Stage Draw by goal.com
  25. UEFA Club Defender of the Year by uefa.com
  26. Club Football Awards nominees named by uefa.com
  27. 55 players shortlisted for FIFPro World XI Player Awards by fifpro.org, on September 25, 2007
  28. 55 players shortlisted for FIFPro World XI Player Awards by fifpro.org on October 20, 2008
  29. Prem stars up for Ballon d'Or by Eurosport on October 19, 2008.
  30. Giggs in running for Euro award by BBC on October 18, 2009.
  31. Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup


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